Alona Tal of ‘Cult’

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article
on February 27, 2013
Cult -- "Pilot" -- Pictured (L-R): Robert Knepper as Billy Grimm/Roger Reeves and Alona Tal as Kelly/Marti -- Photo: Liane Hentscher/The CW ©2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

Is it true that Alona Tal from “Cult” was in the army?
—Bradley Kates, Jonesboro, Ark.

Tal, 29, definitely spent two years in the army, but it was the Israel Defense Forces, not the U.S. Army.

“It is one of the things that I am most proud of that I had two years service in the Israeli army,” the Herzliya, Israel-born actress says. “It was humbling and a very maturing experience, being out of high school and getting that done gets you ready for life.”

After wrapping up her service, Tal landed the lead in the Israeli film “Lihiyot Kochav” (“To Be a Star”), followed by four years on the sitcom “HaPijamot” (“The Pajamas”).

In 2004, she moved to the U.S., and she was one step ahead of other international hopefuls who relocate to the U.S. because she spoke English without an accent.

“I don’t know why,” Tal says. “I just picked it up from TV when I was a baby. The transition was a good one. I am not going to lie: It was lonely at times. But now I am married, so it was the thing to do. I came over to chase a dream like most actors who move halfway around the world, but it worked out very quickly for me, so I am very grateful for the path I had.”

That path includes roles on “Veronica Mars,” “Supernatural,” “Monk,” “The Cleaner,” “Lie To Me,” “The Killing,” “The Mentalist,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “CSI,” as well as the recently released film “Broken City.” Now she stars in “Cult,” which is about a show-within-a-show, in the dual roles of Kelly Collins and Marti Gerritsen.

‘When I was in the army, the environment was predominately male. Having to tell soldiers what to do, you definitely have to put on a hat of some sort and play the role of a tough chick,” she says. “The character of Kelly is the youngest cop in the department and has to deal with all these male co-workers and get her way, so I use that.”